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theEweekly Wrap: staff loss, sleeping apps and sued publishers

Sony sheds staff Sony has reported that it will cut 10,000 jobs over the next twelve months in an attempt to bring the company back into profit. This downsizing will mean that 6 per cent of the workforce is lost, which includes staff from the businesses Sony will be forced to sell during its cut back.

This staff reduction comes after Sony forecasted a record annual net loss of $6.4bn (£4bn). This is now the fourth year that the company has been in the red, while its share price has also fallen by 40 per cent over the past twelve months.

In an attempt to see profits in the future, Sony has set up a transformation plan and will now streamline its focus to concentrate on three main areas – digital imaging, games consoles and mobile devices. Kazou Hirai, who took over as CEO last month, told Japanese reporters that he is prepared to take “painful steps” to help Sony return to a strong position.

Sweet dreams Psychologist Professor Richard Wiseman has developed an iPhone app as part of an experiment into the manipulation of dreams. As a participant sleeps, the Dream:ON app plays a “soundscape” whereby music evokes certain scenes in order to trigger particular images, memories and experiences. The sounds will begin once the phone has detected that the individual is no longer moving – a signal that the dream state will soon begin.

Professor Wiseman from the University of Hertfordshire said: “Getting a good night’s sleep and having pleasant dreams boosts people’s productivity, and is essential for their psychological and physical wellbeing. Despite this, we know very little about how to influence dreams. This experiment aims to change that.”

Participants will be awoken by an alarm at the end of a dream to submit a brief description. It is thought that around 10,000 people will take part in the experiment.

An e-book issue Apple and a number of major book publishers are being sued by the Department of Justice (DOJ) over e-book pricing issues. It is thought that the DOJ launched an investigation in March after an alleged deal took place between Apple and the five publishers: HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin, Simon & Schuster and Hachette SA.

It has been suggested that Apple allowed publishers to set their own prices for books sold on the iPad while also providing them with 30 per cent of the profits. Papers filed at New York’s Southern District state: “To effectuate their conspiracy, the publisher defendants teamed up with defendant Apple, which shared the same goal of restraining retail price competition in the sale of e-books.”

As a result of the publisher-set prices, Amazon has had to raise its e-book prices. Prior to the alleged deal, Amazon would buy books from publishers and set its own retail fee. However, the company has been forced to increase the selling price so that books could remain available on the Kindle.

Written by lauren_knowles_swapLauren Knowles
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Bing makes ground in September UK search market share Monday 13th of October, 2014by James Riches Bing was the only major search engine to increase its UK market share in September, climbing 0.4 per cent as Google and Yahoo suffered slight dips.

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Microsoft releases quick fire messaging app: Skype Qik Wednesday 15th of October, 2014by Martin Lindley Microsoft launches Skype Qik, a new instant messaging service which allows users to send video clips to their friends and family.

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Google confirms first Penguin update for over a year Monday 20th of October, 2014by James Riches Google has confirmed that the Penguin algorithm was updated over the weekend. Site owners now face an anxious wait to see if they have been affected, either positively or negatively.

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theEword - 8 hours ago

This Wizard of Oz-inspired wearable lets you click your heels to order a taxi or text your friends http://t.co/nNLN91Bx9N

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theEword - 1 day ago

We're looking for a Marketing Manager to join our business development team. Interested? Read more here: http://t.co/NUVAzQjceN

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theEword - 1 day ago

In case you missed it, Google updated its #Penguin algorithm over the weekend http://t.co/oO43SGWUOD

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theEword - 1 day ago

Hope everyone has a great week! http://t.co/obstuw2odL

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theEword - 1 day ago

The iPhone is now the perfect smartphone http://t.co/RAtLagfwv1

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theEweekly Wrap: Oct 3 Friday 3rd of October, 2014by Dan Moores

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theEweekly Wrap: Oct 10 Friday 10th of October, 2014by Martin Lindley This week: Facebook gets hyperlocal ads, Microsoft CEO has gender pay trouble, and comedy club starts pay per laugh system.

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theEweekly Wrap: Oct 17 Friday 17th of October, 2014by Dan Moores theEweekly Wrap: Google readies Android 5.0, HBO plans streaming service, and U2 says sorry

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